“You’re so embarrassing…” Abe put his hand up to his face as if to block his line of sight.
“Well, it was either me or the parents. You made your choice so no use complaining now.” Nicky grinned as he winked at a passing girl on their way to the dorm with a large box in both hands. “Now, this is the last of your stuff, right? You didn’t forget anything at home or anything…? Because I’ll be around until the end of today in case you need me to buy any supplies. And I can help you unpack, if you want…”
That elicited a sigh from the younger boy. “If I don’t let you help unpack, are you going to spend that time outside, flirting with everyone who walks by?”
The brothers had similar faces except for their eye color, so the way Nicky's face moved into a nonchalant grin as he shrugged almost pissed his younger brother off. It was like seeing an older version of himself making those annoying expressions for the dark haired boy. “It’s not my fault so many people here are hot.”
“If you get kicked off campus for harassment, I don’t know you…" Nicky had always been like this so it shouldn't bother Abe, but it did. What if he got kicked out for his brother's behavior? Not that he'd ever heard of such a thing happening, but there was probably a chance and it would be even more mortifying if his was the first ever case. "I worked hard to get into this school and I’m not letting you ruin this for me…” They arrived at the dorm room and Nicky set down the box on the desk. Abe pointed to a different one they’d brought in earlier. “That one should be the bedding. I guess you can make the bed while I unpack everything else… since you offered.” He opened a box and started putting things on a provided shelf. Books neatly together on one, different knick-knacks and supplies on others. Everything in its own set place. Abe was very particular about that sort of thing, especially since he finally wouldn’t have to worry about others moving things on him.
“Seriously, Bro?” Abe looks over at the sudden exclamation. “You packed your stuffies? How do you expect to get laid with these guys on your bed?”
“I am not here to get laid. I’m here to study and further my education.” Abe didn’t see the big deal about bringing a few of his favorite stuffed animals. He didn’t have a roommate as his had dropped out a week before they were supposed to move in together, and it wasn’t like he planned on having many if anyone over. He’d be too busy with school work for that. Plus, the fluffy cuddle buddies were comforting and added a warm charm of home for him.
“Come on, that’s what we tell the parents.” The older sibling, scheming with younger sibling voice…. Nicky always used it growing up when he had ideas that could get Abe in trouble if they were found out. “But everyone knows college is really for partying and the hook ups between classes.”
“And that is why I got a scholarship while you failed out of your freshman year…”
Nicky looked borderline actually offended. “Hey, my experiences were way more valuable than any degree. It’s just an expensive piece of paper anyways… Life is more than just lessons and books.” Abe rolled his eyes at that.
“It’s also more than just hookups and booze.”
“Prude…” Nicky crossed his arms and pretended to pout. Then came the dreaded teasing grin. Abe knew whatever came out of his brother’s mouth next would be worse than the fake pouting. “Just for that, I’m gonna head out and buy you a jumbo pack of condoms. You’ll need them when you come to your senses.” Nicky started to head out, bed all made except for having not taken out the stuffed animals from the box yet.
Was it too late to just lock the older sibling out and deny their familial relationship? Surely there weren't many who had actually seen each other together… “You’re just wasting your money. If you’re gonna get me anything in a jumbo pack, I’ll take coffee. I only have three days before classes start.” He carefully took out a stopped up beaker and set it on the desk. “That’s not a lot of time to prep for lessons.”
“Coffee, energy drinks, and condoms. Got it… Anything else, Little bro?” For the briefest of moments, Abe was tempted to throw one of his stuffies at Nicky. But that would be uncivilized and childish. Throwing things was too immature a thing to do as a college student now. He settled for the totally mature option of just passive-aggressively glaring. “Hey, now… If you want porn mags too, you have to get those yourself. Even I have lines I won’t cross.”
“Shut up, you perv.” Abe was definitely red faced now. “I’m not sex crazed like you as to want anyone picking up that sort of thing for me. Like I said, just coffee if anything… And maybe some light snacks.” A pause and then, as if to head off expected additional teasing, a swift clarification. “Of the food variety, Nick.”
“No fun…” Nicky checked that he hadn’t misplaced his phone or wallet absentmindedly as he pretended to pout once again, though only for a second. Soon it was replaced with a goofy grin that Abe was convinced only his brother could pull off making so endearing and infuriating at the same time.“But I live to serve. Just shoot me a text if you think of anything else while I’m out. I’ll try to take my time since I know you probably need some time alone to start settling in… and all that…”
Abe gave a small smile. Nicky could be a dick at times with the teasing, but the two brothers really did care and understand each other. The younger sibling almost entertained the notion that his brother could have a point behind all the teasing. Abe was here solely to learn but maybe if he found someone….? No, thinking about such things was pointless and a waste of energy.
He turned his brown eyes back to his desk and shelf that still had room for more on it. Even with the space, he still had a number of boxes so he wasn’t sure if it was enough for everything… He then turned his attention to the empty other side of his room. It had furniture for two despite him not having a roommate. Maybe he could just use the nonexistent other student’s shelf for his excess items.
No, he had been told he needed to leave those available on the off chance he got a roommate later. There was the chance of a new student starting between semesters or even a student needing to transfer rooms for a variety of reasons. Abe hoped with all his being that neither happened, causing him to have to share his space with another. Even Nicky knew he didn’t do well with sharing his space or others being in said space. The older boy would tease and joke to the point of driving Abe crazy, but he always backed down and gave plenty of space when he could tell that his younger sibling had reached his limit.
Abe shifted his attention to the technically made bed while he mentally figured out the spacing issue. He carefully took out the stuffed animals to set on his bed, letting his mind solve things while he moved. Seriously, what was so weird about bringing stuffies? Taking them out, Abe got the sense that it would be best if today his robot plushie was set up between the patchwork cat and cartoonish plump dragon. It was just what was most visually pleasing to his brain at the moment. Tomorrow, the pattern would likely be different but it just felt wrong every other way at the moment.
Meanwhile, his mind had come up with a solution for the shelving space problem. There was enough room between the desk and foot of his bed to put one of those quick assemble and disassemble wire shelving units that’s size was only dependent on how many packs a person had. He quickly found his phone and texts Nicky to ask him to pick one up if any can be found at the store. Practically immediately, his older brother responded with a picture of two sets already in his cart.
Nicky really knew him so well, didn’t he? It was like the older sibling was in his head sometimes. If Abe was being honest, Nicholas was probably the human he would miss the most from home while here at college. Maybe even the only human he’d miss. It wasn’t like he had ever had much of a social life in the past. And he didn’t expect to have one in the future either.